Norway and the EU - partners for Europe

norway and the eu
- partners for europe
1 Norway and the EU
2 A historical overview of Norway-EU relations
3 The EEA Agreement 8
4 The EEA and Norway Grants 11
5 Norway-EU cooperation at political level
6 Norway and the EU foreign and security policy
7 Justice and home affairs and the Schengen Agreement
8 Climate and energy 20
9 Other areas of cooperation
10 Norway’s participation in EU programmes and agencies
11 Mission of Norway to the EU
1 Norway and the EU
Norway and the EU enjoy good and close relations, although Norway is
not a member of the European Union. The Agreement on the European
Economic Area (EEA) is the mainstay of our cooperation, and it ensures
that Norway takes part in the EU internal market. We are also part of the
Schengen Agreement and cooperate with the EU on foreign and security
policy issues.
Through the EEA Agreement, the three
EFTA states Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are equal partners in the EU internal market, on the same terms as the EU
member states. This includes having access
to the internal market’s four freedoms: the
free movement of goods, persons, services
and capital.
The EEA Agreement is the most far-reaching
economic agreement Norway has entered
into, and by far the single most important
agreement regulating the relationship
between Norway and the EU. In fact, over
80 per cent of our exports go to the EU,
and more than 60 per cent of our imports
come from EU countries.
Moreover, the Agreement also covers
cooperation in other important areas such
as research and development, education,
social policy, the environment, consumer
protection, tourism and culture. It also
enables the three EEA EFTA states to
participate in various EU programmes.
Norway also participates in the activities
of a number of EU agencies through provisions in the EEA Agreement or on the
basis of bilateral agreements.
• Official name:
Kingdom of Norway
• System of government:
Constitutional monarchy,
parliamentary democracy
• Population:
5 165 802 inhabitants as of
1 January 2015
• Capital:
Oslo (647 676 inhabitants as of
1 January 2015)
• Total land area:
385 170 km2
Norwegian krone, NOK
€ 1 = NOK 8.62
(exchange rate February 2015)
• Gross Domestic Product:
NOK 3 151 483 million in 2014
• GDP per capita:
NOK 613 366 in 2014
Source: Statistics Norway
Norway and the EU also cooperate extensively in the field of justice and home
affairs, for instance through the Schengen
Agreement. Energy and climate, fisheries,
maritime affairs, research and education
are other important areas of cooperation.
When it comes to foreign and security
policy, Norway is engaged in a substantial
policy dialogue with the EU, primarily
with the European External Action Service
Norway shares a common set of values
with the EU and its member states, and we
are working together to find joint solutions
to common challenges. This brochure will
tell you more about the areas in which
Norway and the EU cooperate, and the
extent of our cooperation. The scope and
depth of our relations may surprise you.
Did you know
the following facts?
• Norway provides funding to reduce
• Almost 200 000 EU/EEA citizens are
currently working in Norway. More than 7 % of the labour force in Norway are EU/EEA citizens.
social and economic disparities in
Europe. In the period 2009–14, the
EEA and Norway Grants funded
projects in 16 European countries, totalling EUR 1.8 billion.
• In 2014 Norway contributed EUR 306 million to the EU programme budget.
• Norway is a major long-term investor
in the EU. As of January 2014, the
Government Pension Fund Global has
invested a total of EUR 235 billion in
stocks and bonds in EU countries.
Approx. 40 % of the Fund’s global stock and bond investments are in the EU. This comes in addition to considerable
investments in real estate.
• Norway is the world’s third largest
exporter of gas and tenth largest
exporter of oil. Almost all Norwegian
gas is sold on the European market.
Norway is the EU’s second largest
supplier of energy products (after
Russia), including crude petroleum, natural gas and gas liquids.
Oil Platform Draugen.
Norway’s foreign trade, by region and country, 2014
NOK million %
NOK million
560 723
897 810
Nordic countries
118 293
104 315
357 605
732 470
384 195
755 936
33 059
34 254
19 327
54 196
United Kingdom
36 308
205 305
68 967
51 249
66 450
151 848
9 795
12 717
10 0916
76 038
North America
51 990
40 343
South America
12 545
9 363
1 282
3 413
Source: Statistics Norway
2 A historical overview of Norway–EU relations
The four countries’ membership applications are
reactivated after the resignation of de Gaulle.
Negotiations start in 1970.
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is
established by Norway, Austria, Denmark, Portugal,
Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. EFTA is later expanded
to include Iceland in 1970, Finland in 1986 (associate
member from 1961) and Liechtenstein in 1991.
A majority of Norwegians (53.5%) vote against
European Community (EC) accession in a referendum.
The EEA Agreement is signed between the EFTA states
and the EC. Switzerland rejects participation in the
EEA by referendum, but remains a member of EFTA.
Norway, Ireland, Denmark and the UK apply twice to
join the European Economic Community (EEC), but the
accession negotiations are suspended both times when
French President Charles de Gaulle vetoes the UK’s
membership application.
Norway, Sweden, Finland and Austria apply for
membership of the EU.
The EU is enlarged to include 10 new member states.
The EEA Enlargement Agreement establishes a
European Economic Area consisting of 25 EU member
states and the EEA EFTA states Norway, Iceland and
The EEA Agreement enters into force on 1 January 1994.
A majority of Norwegians (52.2%) reject EU membership
in a referendum.
The EEA is expanded to include Croatia, and now
consists of 31 European countries.
The Schengen Convention enters into force for
Norway and the other Nordic countries. All passport
controls between Norway and the fourteen Schengen
countries are abolished.
The EU establishes its own foreign service, the European
External Action Service (EEAS). In accordance with the
Treaty of Lisbon, responsibility in the EU for coordinating
EEA matters is moved from the European Commission
to EEAS.
3 The EEA Agreement
The Agreement on the European Economic Area EEA is the cornerstone
of relations between Norway and the EU. It brings together the 28 EU
member states and the three EEA EFTA states Norway, Iceland and
Liechtenstein in an internal market governed by the same basic rules.
It guarantees the internal market’s four freedoms, as well as nondiscrimination and equal rules of competition throughout the area.
The internal market’s four freedoms are the
free movement of goods, persons, services
and capital. The EEA Agreement also
covers cooperation in other important
areas such as research and development,
education, social policy, the environment,
consumer protection, tourism and culture.
It also enables the three EEA EFTA states
to participate in various EU programmes.
The EEA Agreement does not cover the EU
common agriculture and fisheries policies,
the customs union, the common trade
policy, the common foreign and security
policy, justice and home affairs or the
monetary union.
The principle of free movement of goods
ensures that products originating in an EEA
state may circulate freely within the
internal market. Customs duties and
quantitative restrictions on trade in such
products are prohibited within the EEA.
Through the free movement of persons,
all EEA nationals have the right to work in
any other EEA state. Students, pensioners
and people not in paid employment also
have the right to reside in another EEA
Under the EEA Agreement individuals and
companies enjoy freedom of establish-
ment and the right to provide services
across the EEA on equal terms. Information
about authorisation procedures and other
matters is available from the Norwegian
public reporting portal, Altinn, which is the
single point of contact for service providers,
The free movement of capital enables
cross-border investment by residents and
companies in the EEA, without discrimination on grounds of nationality, place of residence or place of establishment. Citizens
and companies have the right to transfer
money between EEA states, and to open
bank accounts, invest in shares and funds,
and borrow money in other EEA states.
A central principle of the EEA Agreement is
homogeneity, which means that the same
rules and conditions of competition apply
to all economic operators within the EEA.
To maintain homogeneity, the EEA Agreement is continuously updated and amened
to ensure that the legislation of the EEA
EFTA states is in line with EU internal market
Substantive decisions relating to the EEA
Agreement are a joint venture between the
EEA EFTA states and the EU. Common bodies, such as the EEA Council and the EEA
Joint Committee, have been established to
administer the EEA Agreement.
Because the EEA EFTA states are not
members of the EU, they are constitutionally not able to accept direct decisions by
the European Commission or the Court of
Justice of the European Union. Separate
EEA EFTA bodies that correspond to these
EU bodies have therefore been set up. This
is known as the two-pillar structure.
EEA Agreement, and it also ensures that
companies in these countries abide by the
common rules of competition. The Authority can investigate possible infringements
of EEA provisions, either on its own initiative, or on the basis of complaints. There is
close contact and cooperation between the
Commission and the Authority.
The EFTA Court corresponds to the Court
of Justice of the European Union in matters
relating to the EEA EFTA states. The EFTA
Court deals with infringement actions
brought by the EFTA Surveillance Authority against an EEA EFTA state and handles
disputes between two or more EEA EFTA
The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA)
plays a similar surveillance role to that of
the European Commission. The Authority
ensures that Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein respect their obligations under the
The Two-Pillar EEA Structure
Ministers of the EU and
the EEA EFTA states
EFTA Secretariat
European External Action Service,
European Commission and EEA EFTA
EFTA Secretariat
MPs from EFTA
Parliaments and MEPs
EFTA Secretariat
EP Secretariat
ECOSOC Secretariat
*Switzerland is an observer
This figure illustrates the management of the EEA Agreement. The left pillar shows the EFTA states and their institutions, while the right pillar shows the
EU side. The joint EEA bodies are in the middle.
4 The EEA and Norway Grants
The EEA and Norway Grants are Norway’s contribution to reducing economic and social disparities within the European Economic Area (EEA).
Our funding also provide a unique opportunity to promote cooperation
and partnerships between Norway and the sixteen beneficiary states in
Central and Southern Europe.
Our support is channelled through 150
programmes and targeted towards areas
where there are clear needs in the beneficiary states, and it is in line with broader
European policies.
capacity of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). A minimum of 10 % of the
funding in each country has been allocated
to areas such as democracy-building, protection of human rights and promotion of
social inclusion.
Climate change, energy, research and
green innovation are among the priority
sectors that receive most funding. More
than EUR 700 million – or around 40 % of
the funding – is allocated to these sectors,
creating better conditions for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe.
The Global Fund for Decent Work and
Social Dialogue promotes cooperation on
labour policies between workers, employers
and government organisations. Norway
gives priority to establishing tripartite dialogue structures and initiatives to promote
work–life balance. Norway also provides
support for improving health, safety and
environment standards.
We give special attention to strengthening civil society and improving the
Improving the living conditions for Europe’s Roma population
is a priority for the EEA and Norway Grants.
Research and innovation are important for economic
growth in Europe. Researchers from the beneficiary
countries and Norway cooperate in joint research
projects worth around €130 million.
various programmes, primarily following
open calls for proposals in the beneficiary
states. Country-specific priorities and programmes are negotiated between Norway
and the beneficiary states.
Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic,
Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia,
Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania,
Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
Our social inclusion programmes seek to
enhance public health services and tackle
issues such as poverty, a lack of equal
opportunities and discrimination. The
inclusion of Roma is a special concern in
several programmes.
Gender equality is key to economic development and is a cross-cutting concern.
Strengthening bilateral relations is a key
objective. Strategic partnerships between
organisations and institutions in Norway
and the beneficiary states have been established, and new opportunities for cooperation are explored on an ongoing basis.
Currently, 87 of our 150 programmes are
being implemented through cooperation
between donor and beneficiary states. A
wide range of public authorities and institutions, organisations and businesses also
participate in partnership projects.
Applicants can apply for support under the
The eligibility criteria for the EEA and
Norway Grants are the same as those set
for the EU Cohesion Fund, which is aimed
at member states whose per-capita GNI is
less than 90 % of the EU average.
A new fund for decent work and social
dialogue will be established with a view to
promoting cooperation on labour policies
between workers, employers and government organisations. Strategies to achieve
decent working standards and initiatives
to promote work-life balance at the work
place, as well as better health, safety and
environment standards are prioritised.
Gender equality is often seen as a key to
economic development and will be a horizontal concern for all programmes.
A total of EUR 1.8 billion has been made
available over the current funding period
2009–14, in addition to the EUR 1.30
billion already provided under the 2004–
09 grants schemes.
Research, scholarships and human and
social development are other focus areas
under the grants. Social inclusion programmes involve measures to enhance
public health services and tackle issues
such as poverty, lack of equal opportunities, discrimination or exclusion from
the labour market.
Norway contributes around 97 % of the
pledged amount.
Contributions 2009–2014 (million EUR)
Programmes and projects may be implemented
until 2016.
Beneficiary state
Czech Republic
Norway has provided funding to reduce
social and economic disparities through
various mechanisms since the EEA was
first established in 1994.
EEA members Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein established the EEA and Norway
Grants in conjunction with the enlargement
of the European Union and the EEA in 2004.
* Croatia has been eligible for funding since
joining the the EEA in 2014.
**Spain received transitional support in the
period 1 May 2009–31 December 2013.
5 Norway-EU cooperation
at political level
Norway and the EU share the same fundamental values, and face many of
the same challenges. Close cooperation at political level is essential to find
joint solutions to these challenges.
The EEA and other agreements with the EU
shape domestic policies at most levels and
in most areas of Norwegian society. It is
therefore in our national interest to cooperate closely with the EU and to participate
actively in policy debates at European
level. In this way, Norway seeks to promote
its interests and to contribute to a positive
development in Europe.
The EEA Agreement provides the main
platform for political cooperation between
Norway and the EU. The EEA has its own
council, which establishes political priorities for implementing and developing the
Agreement. The EEA Council meets twice a
year at ministerial level to assess the overall functioning of the EEA Agreement and
to discuss matters of common concern. In
connection with these meetings, a separate
political dialogue meeting is held to discuss
foreign and security policy issues.
In addition to the established structure provided for by the EEA Agreement, various
bilateral high-level meetings take place.
The Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign
Affairs and the Minister of EEA and EU
Affairs meet with various EU leaders such
as the President of the European Council,
the President of the European Commission,
the High Representative of the Union for
Top: Norwegian Minister of Finance Siv Jensen with
European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth,
Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen.
Below: Norwegian Minister of EEA and EU Affairs
Vidar Helgesen with European Commissioner for Trade
Cecilia Malmström.
Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende and Federica Mogherini, High
Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the
EU Presidency to discuss issues of common
interest. There are also regular meetings
between the other members of the Government and members of the Commission and
the European Parliament.
Based on a long-standing tradition between
the EFTA states and the EU Presidency,
various Norwegian ministers are invited
to informal ministerial meetings and
conferences organised by the rotating EU
The European Parliament also invites
Norway to present its views on topical
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg with Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the
European Commission.
issues, such as Norway’s involvement in
the Middle East, the Arctic and the High
North, and Norway’s energy policy. There
is close parliamentary cooperation between
Norway and the European Parliament.
Norway is the only non-EU country with a
designated liaison officer to the European
Parliament. Members of the European
Parliament’s delegation to Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and the EEA meet regularly
with Norwegian parliamentarians both in
a bilateral and in an EEA EFTA context, as
well as within the framework of other arenas for international cooperation, notably
the Arctic Parliamentary Assembly. Standing committees of the European Parliament
often invite Norwegian parliamentarians to
take part in inter-parliamentary meetings,
and Norway is invited on a regular basis to
parliamentary meetings hosted by the parliament of the country holding the rotating
EU Presidency.
Although the EEA Agreement is the mainstay of Norway’s political cooperation with
the EU, Norway has chosen to collaborate
with its European partners in more areas
than those covered by the Agreement. You
can read more about cooperation under
the Schengen Agreement, cooperation on
foreign and security policy and other areas
of cooperation in the following chapters.
6 Norway and the EU foreign
and security policy
Norway cooperates closely with the EU on foreign and security policy
issues. It is in our interest to find common solutions to shared global and
regional challenges. By acting together, we can strengthen our influence
Europe is experiencing times of change. We
are facing complex and multidimensional
challenges that require joint European
coordination and action. Cooperation with
the EU is crucial for safeguarding Norwegian
interests in priority areas.
The political dialogue between Norway
and the EU on foreign and security policy
issues is part of the EEA Agreement. Biannual foreign policy consultations are held
in the margins of EEA Council meetings.
Moreover, policy coordination and consultation take place on a daily basis, primarily
with the European External Action Service
(EEAS) and the member states. The goal is
to safeguard common positions and seek to
make a difference in international affairs.
The EU invites Norway and the EFTA
partners to consultations with the Council
Working Groups on topics of common
concern. Norway frequently aligns itself
with the restrictive measures imposed by
the EU against third countries. In addition,
Norway is often invited to align itself with
EU foreign policy statements, or with EU
interventions in international organisations.
Norway and the EU enjoy close coopera-
tion on many topical areas, such as the
Middle East peace process and the Ad Hoc
Liaison Committee (AHLC) for development assistance to the Palestinian people;
policy in the High North; and common
challenges regarding energy and climate
change. We also cooperate, for example,
in the areas of counter-terrorism, development cooperation, human rights, disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as in
the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
Migration is a particular issue of common concern. Norway and the EU are
working to find common solutions to the
challenges created by migration. This also
means addressing the underlying causes of
migration. Together with the EU, Norway
seeks to strengthen cooperation with the
countries of origin and transit. The aim
is to promote human rights, democracy,
peace and economic development in these
A Super Lynx helicopter from EU Naval Force flagship
NRP Álvares Cabral arriving at HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen.
The EU’s neighbouring regions are also
Norway’s, and we have a common interest in maintaining the highest possible
degree of security and stability in these
areas. Norway’s cooperation with the EU
in North Africa is a key element in the
development of an integrated Norwegian
Mediterranean policy. Norway supports the
European Neighbourhood Policy, designed
to promote economic, political and social
development to the south and east of the
EU’s borders.
Norway will provide standby troops for
EU battle groups in 2015, and is already
part of the Nordic Battle Group under the
auspices of the EU.
Improved European crisis management
capability would benefit both Europe and
the rest of the international community.
Norway seeks to play an active part in EU
Norway will intensify its cooperation with
the EU on preparedness and response with
regard to terrorist attacks, natural disasters
and other serious threats. It is crucial that
efforts to develop and strengthen military
capabilities. Within the framework of the
Common Security and Defence Policy
(CSDP), Norway has entered into a separate agreement with the EU for participating in EU civilian and military operations.
we can easily give and receive help across
national borders if a serious incident occurs.
Norway has participated in several EU-led
operations in the Balkans, the Horn of
Africa and in the Middle East. Furthermore, Norway has signed an agreement
which enables Norwegian participation
in the activities of the European Defence
Norwegian Naval Special Operation Forces Command
during their mission on the frigate HNoMS Fridtjof
Nansen in Gulf of Aden.
7 Justice and home affairs and
the Schengen Agreement
The EU’s priorities in the area of justice and home affairs largely coincide
with those of Norway. Challenges facing EU member states relating to
cross-border crime, illegal immigration and managing streams of refugees
apply to Norway as well. Therefore, Norway is associated with the EU
justice and home affairs cooperation through various agreements. The
most important of these is the Schengen Agreement.
Norway joined the Schengen cooperation
in 2001, and applies the Schengen acquis
(the common set of Schengen rules) in
full. This means that Norway applies the
harmonised policies on visas and external border control. Norway and the other
Schengen states have abolished internal
border control between them. To compensate for this, the Schengen cooperation
includes parts of EU police cooperation, in
which Norway participates actively. This
cooperation is key to safeguarding internal
security and fighting cross-border crime.
Norway is involved in the development of
the Schengen acquis at all levels of the EU
Council decision-making system, and has
the right to speak, but not to vote. Those
parts of the EU’s Justice and Home Affairs
Council meetings in which Norway and
other non-EU states participate are called
meetings of the Mixed Committee.
It is important to ensure that all Schengen
countries take on their share of the responsibility for effective control of the external
borders. Norway participates in the
European Borders Agency, Frontex, which
aims to coordinate the management of the
common external borders.
Other parts of EU justice and home affairs
cooperation also have implications for
Norway. Therefore, Norway and the EU
have entered into cooperation within various
areas, including the following:
Border control at Zaventem Airport.
Top: Border Control Frontex/Schengen.
Below: Control Activities at the Greek-Turkish border
near Alexandroupolis, organized by Frontex, with the
Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABIT).
• The Dublin cooperation, which establishes the criteria and
• The European Asylum Support Office (EASO), which aims
mechanisms for determining which state is responsible for
examining an asylum application;
at enhancing practical cooperation on asylum matters and
helping member states fulfil their European and international obligations to give protection to people in need.
• The European Migration Network, which contributes to
policy development on migration and asylum;
• An agreement on mutual legal assistance (exchange of
• Europol, the European Law Enforcement Organisation, which
aims at improving cooperation between the competent
authorities in EU member states and their effectiveness
in preventing and combating terrorism, drug trafficking
and other forms of organised crime. Three Norwegian
liaison officers are posted to the organisation’s headquarters in The Hague;
information between law-enforcement and prosecution
• A surrender agreement based on the principles of the
European Arrest Warrant*;
• An agreement on the Prüm Treaty on enhanced police
cooperation in order to combat terrorism and international
• Eurojust, a cooperation network set up to encourage and
coordinate the investigation and prosecution of serious
cross-border crime. A Norwegian public prosecutor and
a Norwegian police prosecutor are currently working for
Eurojust in The Hague;
*Upon entry into force
8 Climate and energy
Action to secure energy supplies and mitigate climate change is at the
top of the European agenda. Norway and the EU share high ambitions in
the field of climate policy. As one of the world’s largest energy exporters,
Norway plays a significant role in European energy security.
Norway and the EU are working together in
the battle against global warming. Together
with the EU, Norway plays an active role
in support of a strong international climate
agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas
emissions in line with the two-degree target.
In February 2015, the Norwegian gov-
Norway is fully integrated into the internal
energy market under the EEA Agreement.
Approximately one third of the natural gas
imported to the EU originates from the
Norwegian continental shelf, second in
volume only to Russian gas. Norway is also
one of the world’s largest producers of
hydropower. There is extensive power
trade between Norway and the neighbouring Nordic countries, as well as with
continental Europe.
Building cross-border gas pipelines and
high-voltage power lines between European
countries can make the energy market
more efficient, improve the security of
energy supplies and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Cross-border power
lines have advantages for all the countries
involved. They give better use of electricity
supply systems, more effective use of
resources, greater security of supply and
opportunities for greater integration of
renewable energy into the supply system.
ernment presented a White Paper on a
New Norwegian Commitment for the
Period After 2020 proposing a reduction
of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40
per cent by 2030, compared to the 1990
level. Norway will seek to join the EU 2030
framework for climate policies in order for
Norway and the EU to jointly fulfil their
climate targets.
Norwegian natural gas can play an important role in Europe in the transition to a
low-carbon economy. CO2 emissions can be
reduced by replacing coal with gas. Gas can
also be an important supplement to solar and
wind power on days with little sun or wind.
Norway is fully integrated into the EU
Emissions Trading System (ETS). This is
our main climate policy tool, covering
almost 50 % of Norway’s greenhouse gas
emissions (mostly industry). The ETS cap
must be sufficiently tight and predictable
in order to provide the necessary incentives
for a low-emission future, spurring technology
development and innovation.
An agreement between Norway and the
EU on joint fulfilment of climate targets
will imply cooperation on emissions also
in the non-ETS sectors (like transport and
agriculture). The EU is Norway’s most
important collaborator and partner. A joint
fulfilment with the EU allows for a more efficient climate policy and more predictable
conditions for Norwegian businesses.
Norway is committed to promoting technology development and cost reductions in
order to make carbon capture and storage
(CCS) an economically viable option for
mitigating climate change. The Norwegian
strategy encompasses a wide range of
activities, including the development of a
large-scale carbon capture demonstration
facility by 2020. Norway also stands ready
to consider how the EEA and Norway
Grants can fund CCS projects in Europe.
9 Other areas of cooperation
Research and education
Research and education are important elements of Norway’s
cooperation with the EU. Through the EEA Agreement,
Norway participates in the EU’s education programme Erasmus+ and the EU Framework Programme for Research and
Innovation (Horizon 2020).
Norway’s contributions to the major EU programmes for
research, innovation and education will total around EUR
2.7 billion in the period 2014–20. Investments in these areas
will help to secure the basis for competitiveness and employment in the future. Norway and the EU cannot compete on
the basis of labour costs; rather, they need to compete on
the basis of innovation and knowledge.
World-leading research forms the foundation for tomorrow’s
jobs, technologies and welfare. Increasing the knowledge
content in products, services and processes gives a competitive advantage and increases productivity. Cross-border mobility and cooperation help to raise the quality of education
and research, and make an important contribution to the
competitiveness of our businesses.
Erasmus students at campus.
Maritime Affairs
Norway is a seafaring nation, with much of its population living
along the coast and depending on the sea (whether in the
areas of fisheries, petroleum or shipping). Norway and the
EU therefore share the ambition of maintaining the European
maritime industries’ world-leading position and competitiveness.
Norway is one of the world’s largest exporters of fish. Around
60 % of total Norwegian seafood exports go to the EU. A protocol
to the EEA Agreement regulates trade between Norway and
the EU in the area of fish and seafood.
Management of living marine resources is not included in the
EEA Agreement itself, but Norwegian and EU fishing vessels
harvest fish and seafood from the same oceans. Taking as their
basis a separate framework agreement, Norway and the EU
negotiate annual quota agreements on joint stocks in the North
Sea, as well as quota exchanges for stocks in other sea areas.
An integrated approach to ocean management and maritime
affairs, as represented by the EU maritime policy, is in line
with Norwegian thinking and policy. The EU launched its
Integrated Maritime Policy in December 2007. Norway cooperates closely with the EU in this field. New EU legislation in
this area may also apply to Norway, through the EEA Agreement.
In general, Norway and the EU cooperate closely on the management of marine resources, including on the monitoring and
enforcement of regulations. Common efforts to combat the
problem of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU)
have produced encouraging results.
Furthermore, Norway cooperates closely with the EU on
resource management and protection of the marine environment. Norway participates in relevant EU programmes and acts
Fish farming.
as a partner in the development of European marine policies.
10 Norway’s participation in
EU programmes and agencies
The EU has established several programmes in order to help implement
EU policy. These programmes and related activities strengthen
cooperation in areas not covered by the internal market, and support
further development of the four freedoms. The programmes cover areas
such as research, education, social policy and culture. Through the EEA
Agreement, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein participate in a wide
range of these programmes and activities.
This participation creates a wealth of
opportunities in the areas of innovation,
research, cultural exchanges and education, of benefit for all EEA states.
The EU has also set up several decentralised agencies to carry out technical, scientific or administrative tasks relating to the
internal market and the EU programmes.
Norway participates in a number of these
agencies through provisions in the EEA
Agreement or on the basis of bilateral
agreements with the EU.
When the EEA Joint Committee agrees
to incorporate programmes and agencies into the EEA Agreement, Norway
commits to making an annual financial
contribution to the relevant EU budget.
EEA EFTA states fund their participation
in programmes and agencies by paying an
amount calculated on the basis of the relative size of their gross domestic product
(GDP) compared to the GDP of the EEA
as a whole. The EEA EFTA states thereby
participate on an equal footing with EU
member states. In addition, the EEA EFTA
states send a number of national experts
on secondment to the European Commission. These posts are fully financed by the
EEA EFTA states themselves.
The total EEA EFTA commitment contributions amount to 3.03% of the overall EU
programme budget. In 2014, Norway’s
contribution was EUR 306 million. This
constitutes 97 % of the total EEA EFTA
contributions. During the programme
period 2014–20, the Norwegian contribution will increase substantially, in parallel
with the EU programme budget, from EUR
306 million in 2014 to EUR 550 million
in 2020.
During the EU programme period
2014–20 Norway will participate in the
following programmes:
• Horizon 2020
• Erasmus +
• Creative Europe
• Connecting Europe Facility (ICT part)
• European Statistical Programme
• Health for Growth
• Union Civil Protection Mechanism
• Interoperability Solutions for Public
Administrations (ISA) Programme
• Employment and Social Innovation
• Consumer Programme
• Copernicus programme
Norway also has a bilateral arrangement
for participation in interregional
programmes under the EU’s Regional
Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA)***
European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation
at the External Borders (FRONTEX)**
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA)
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP)
European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)
European Defence Agency (EDA)*
European Environment Agency (EEA)
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFUND)
European GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) Supervisory Authority
European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)
European Medicines Agency (EMA)
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)*
European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA)
Europol (the EU’s law enforcement agency)*
European Railway Agency (ERA)
European Research Council Executive Agency (ERC)***
European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC)*
European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit (EUROJUST)*
Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI)***
Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC)***
Research Executive Agency (REA)***
European Police College (CEPOL)
* Bilateral agreement between the EU and Norway
** Norway participates through its Schengen membership
*** Norway participates through related programmes
11 Mission of Norway to the EU
To learn more about Norway’s relations with
the EU, please visit:
The Mission of Norway to the European Union plays an essential role
in the development and implementation of Norway’s policy on Europe.
The Mission is also an important centre of expertise on EU and EEA
affairs for the Norwegian public administration.
Some of the Mission’s main tasks are:
• represent the Norwegian Government in Brussels and promote the Government’s
policies and positions vis-à-vis the European Union;
• identify at the earliest stage possible issues related to the EEA and Schengen
cooperation that are of political or economic importance to Norway;
• safeguard Norwegian interests in negotiations with the European Commission,
the European External Action Service and the Council of the European Union in
areas covered by the EEA and Schengen agreements;
• work closely with the EU institutions on the further development of the
Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence
Policy; and
• increase awareness of Norway’s close ties with the EU, in particular our
participation in the internal market.
All Norwegian ministries are represented
at the Mission, reflecting the broad scope
of Norway’s relations with the EU. The
Mission has a staff of around 60, of which
two thirds are diplomats.
The Mission receives around 8 000 visitors
annually, ranging from school classes and
student groups to business delegations
and parliamentary committees. Each year
the Mission holds a broad range of seminars and conferences at Norway House,
often in cooperation with the EU institutions or think tanks in Brussels.
EEA-EFTA: Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein
EFTA: Switzerland
More information about Norway
Information from the Government and the Ministries:
The Mission of Norway to the EU:
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA):
The official travel guide to Norway:
Published by:
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Public institutions may order additional copies from:
Norwegian Government Security and Service
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: + 47 22 24 20 00
Publication number: E-948 E
ISBN 978-82-7177-993-1
Design: Gjerholm Design
Print: Andvord Grafisk 02/2015 - Impression 10 000
Cover: 1) Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and President
of the European Council Donald Tusk. Photo: Juha ROININEN /
EUP-IMAGES / Prime Minister´s Office. 2) Fishing boat in Lofoten,
Nordland. Photo: Pål Bugge/inn/Innovation Norway. 3) Norwegian
flag in the EU-Commission with the EU flag. Photo: Juha ROININEN
/ EUP-IMAGES / Prime Ministers Office. Page 4) Nancy Bundt Page 5) Harald Valderhaug/Innovation Norway.
Sushi by the sea. Photo: Yngve Ask/Innovation Norway. Page 9)
Colourbox. Page 11) Christian G. Halvorsen, MFA Norway. Page
12, 13) Christophe Vander Eecken. Page 14) Top: Anders Aalbu/
Mission of Norway to the EU. Below: Stian Mathisen, Mission
of Norway to the EU. Page 15) Left: European External Action
Service. Right: Juha ROININEN / EUP-IMAGES / Prime Ministers
Office. Page 17) Top: Jon Vaag Eikeland/Norwegian Armed Forces.
Below: MJK/Norwegian Armed Forces. Page 18) Top: Frontex.
Below: EC audiovisual services. Page 19) European Union 2013.
Page 21) Arne Nævra/ NTB scanpix. Page 22) European Commission / Alain Schroeder. Page 23) Hallvard Stensland/ MFA Norway.
Page 26) The Mission of Norway to the EU. Photo: Anders Aalbu/
Mission of Norway to the EU.